A Staircase Makes a Strong Presence

A Staircase Makes a Strong Presence

Italy, Residential Design –

The structure ties all elements together in this Italian home for a young couple designed by DEFERRARI+MODESTI

The staircase presents surprise and playfulness to guests

ON THE BLUEPRINTS of Florence-based design studio DEFERRARI+MODESTI was a villa that is part of a hilly context rich in greenery, just outside the city of Prato.

Project: House LG

Client: PrivateA Young Couple

Location: Prato, Italy

Year: 2020

The studio, founded in 2010 by Javier Deferrari (Argentinian) and Lavinia Modesti (Italian), approached the concept holistically and organically, spicing it up with combinations of texture, colour, mood and materials to create zones of comfort and playfulness.

What hits you and any guests who enter the home is the drama of the blue staircase in perforated blue sheet metal juxtaposed with timber steps and flooring. It secures the different levels of the home in a friendly hug and mirrors the story of the hilly environment outdoors.

Zones in timber, blue and white background form the theme of the young couple’s abode. This dining space with its clean lines is cleverly partitioned with cabinetry, shelving and raised section

Left: The staircase secures the different levels of the home into a fitting narrative Right: Concealed shelving and fixtures of blue that secretly reveal a splash of sunshine hues ensure clean lines throughout the living space

Left: The bathroom continues with symmetry and clean uncluttered lines; Right: Living space with zonal definitions organically created with levels, fixtures, textures and colour


The project started from the articulation of the spaces, exploiting the differences in height in the house, to identify and create different areas, interconnected but also autonomous, suitable for receiving friends but also for creating areas suitable for privacy.

The staircase itself is a space to be lived in, not only a circulation element, but also a rest area, a reception area, a storage unit, a filter and separation element, a structure for climbing. Like other furnishings, it presents elements of surprise; slowly in its development the structure lightens and changes its appearance.

We work on projects of different scales and types with a holistic approach and their research ranges from the identification of new spatial solutions to the study of materials, the development of every construction detail, each time developing a unique concept with its own and distinct poetics.”

Javier Deferrari and Lavinia Modesti founders of DEFERRARI+MODESTI 

Photographs by Anna Positano